One year after the First European Games in Baku – the sporting holiday of a continental scale

A year  has passed since the date of the historical world sports event, the opening the First European games in Baku. Continental sports competitions have never been organized in Europe prior to that has never held, although on the other continents are organized during many years and the status of such tournaments is a bit lower than the World Olympics. The city of Baku became the first capital of the pan-European competitions.

The games last from June 12-28th June 2015 and involved 20 kind of sports – 16 Olympic and another 4 have not yet been included in the number of Olympic kind of sports yet. More than 6,000 athletes from 50 countries competed for the right to become the winner of the champion of the First European games.

Russia won 79 gold, 40 silver and 45 bronze medals and became the leader of the tournament. The team of Azerbaijani team was in the second place with 21 gold, 15 silver and 20 bronze medals. The honorable third place was won by Great Britain (18 gold, 10 silver and 19 bronze medals).

The organization and holding of The First European Games in Baku were under the leadership of the head of the Organizing Committee of the First European games, the first lady of Azerbaijan, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mehriban Aliyeva who received the highest assessment  from both athletes, and spectators. During the year, the political, sporting and cultural figures of Russia always shared their only positive impressions with ‘Vestnik Kavkaza’ after visiting the event in Baku.

Thus, the Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko admitted that he was impressed by Azerbaijan’s progress that built the necessary infrastructure for the competitions. The event was held at the level of Olympic Games. "Azerbaijan did it at a very high level. I think the reason why there are no more requests for the European games is due to the fact it is difficult to maintain this standard. Now it is possible only for Russia, the US, China and several other countries around the world,’’ the minister expressed his confidence.

"I believe that Azerbaijan rightly received the opportunity to hold the Games. Everything was done with love, soul, trembling and responsibility. I liked everything very much. I want to congratulate all the residents of the city and all organizers once again with such a wonderful project. Games were fantastic,’’ Mutko said.

The Member of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, a representative of the executive body of state power of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, Eduard Isakov shared his positive impressions about the Games. "It will be difficult for the next country to reach the level of Azerbaijan: the magnificent opening ceremony, the quality of the competition, excellent sports facilities," he noted, paying particular attention to the fact that all the sports facilities at the First European games were built in accordance with the creation of an accessible environment programs, i.e. they were comfortable for all people.

The president of the Russian Federation of rowing and canoeing Evgeny Arkhipov noted similarities between the First European Games in Baku with the Olympic Games. "The European Olympic Games is a new format of the competition. They were organized at a very high level. The overall level is great. A very good organization and hospitality meets the high status of the Olympic Games,’’ the president of the Federation said.

Head fencing coach of the Russian national, Ilgar Mammadov, also proposed to hold Summer Olympics in Baku. "I'll tell you honestly that Azerbaijan can sent a request for the biggest and major events such as the Olympic games. Because the First European Games were held at the highest level. It is worth noting excellent infrastructure and the village for Athletes, as well the work of the Organizing Committee,’’ said the head coach of Russian fencers.

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